• In postcolonial countries in the Caribbean, more than natural disasters, newspapers are threatened by oblivion, stemming from indifference in and dismissal of a traumatic past. Traditionally, scholars have read historical newspapers for the information they contain. More recently, area studies and digital tools have enabled us to read them against the grain. The result has been greater awareness of the intricate web of silences underlying the information contained within. Making this content available for scholarship, safeguarding it for posterity, and facilitating access is a priority.

    This talk’s focus will be the digitization of The Barbados Mercury Gazette, a project funded by a British Library Endangered Archives Programme. The project is an international collaboration of scholars and practitioners abroad and in Barbados.

    The presentation will be in two parts: The first part will describe “lessons learned” based on the intricacies, unexpected delays and necessary adjustments during the project. The second part will discuss how the project team aims to promote the newspaper as a a fertile resource for research and a new understanding of the island’s history. The presentation will also examine the opportunities arising through this project for community involvement and empowerment. Finally, future directions and work inspired by this project will be presented.

    To read more about the project, please see the blog posts here: http://archiveland.com/category/grant/the-barbados-mercury/ .